A (brief) return to coaching

St. Vincent de Paul is a graduate School with only 120 odd resident students, so we do not have a formal athletic program. The guys do sports, but on their own. Except for a once a semester soccer game against the St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami.

Last year, due to Covid we did not play. This year seeing a need, I volunteered to coach the SVdP Shepherds.

I have been coaching (on and off) for 17 years. At this point what I enjoy the most about coaching is building the team, working first on communication and trust, then on skills, technique, and strategies and all the other bits necessary to succeed as a team.

What a pleasure to return to the field, to work with the guys at skills that we do not teach in the classroom.

Unfortunately, we did not have a lot of time to practice, but we did the best we could.

We lost the game 3 – 4, but I am really proud of the men, we played a far superior game, we played as a team! But halfway through the first half while we were winning 2 – 0, we lost steam, we lost our shape, and the Miami guys took advantage of that. In the second half we came back and scored the third goal, but it was too late.

I was blessed to have a student volunteer as an assistant coach! Misho led the warmups, worked with our goalie, and helped to organize practices, helped me with strategy on game day, what a blessing!

All in all, it was a great experience, and I can’t wait to start preparing next year’s game!!

PS: The initiated will notice our colors are red and white stripes. This is our traditional kit, and in NO WAY my decision. I would have been fine just wearing plain all white 😉

Photo Creds: Carmela Grande, Chris Holsom.

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